Coconut oil has been at the forefront of the press in recent (cold) months. Everything I have heard about it has been great – you can use it on your hair as conditioner, your skin as a moisturiser, cooking to replace oils, your face as a make-up remover, butter on your toast, it aids your digestion and thus helps weight loss, it builds up your body’s natural immunities and has most recently hit the headlines to help ease blood pressure and even treat Alzheimer’s.
So I bought a jar from Holland and Barratt to see for myself whether this was the new “wonder product” or whether a bunch of holistics were getting all excited over nothing…
My initial experiment was fragrant, light (only about 500 cals for those wistfully thinking about summer bikini or budgie smuggling days), very simple to make and was a great success. The coconut oil made the curry much creamier with none of the slightly acidic flavours you get if you cook with oil. It is 100% raw coconut oil with no nasty additives, so really is a must if you are looking for a healthy alternative, and don’t worry, once you get heating it, the coconut smell & taste recedes completely!
This feeds 2 hungry people
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 onion , halved and sliced
small piece root ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp turmeric
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste
1-2 green chillies, finely sliced
300g sustainable firm white fish such as haddock , pollack or cod, cut into chunks
steamed rice to serve
Turn the oven to 200 degrees and lightly toast the coriander seeds. Grind with a pestle and mortar (or similar utensils found around the kitchen for those less equip!)
Heat a little coconut oil in a pan, and throw in the chopped onion with a bit pinch of salt. Fry until golden. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli flakes and ground spices and fry for a further minute.
Normally, I leave my curries to go rest (even if you just leave it to go cold) before continuing (if I have the time). Reheat, stir and add the coconut milk, tamarind, green chillies and simmer for 5 mins.
Add the fish and heat for another 5 mins, or until cooked and serve on a bed of rice, garnished with some coriander which I am lacking in my photos!